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2016 NCAA Football Week One – Big Ten Predictions, Picks and Preview

2016 NCAA Football Week One – Big Ten Predictions, Picks and Preview

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Big Ten Week 1 Predictions, Odds and Preview

Thursday, September 1

Oregon State Beavers (+13) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (-13) – 9:00 PM ET

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This matchup will be a good early test to see where both programs are at right now. Oregon State, which was dismal on both sides of the field last season, looks stronger and a bit more capable especially with Utah State transfer quarterback Darrell Garretson at the helm.

Garretson’s set to lead an offense that brings back sophomore running back Ryan Nall, and a pair of promising pass-catchers in Jordan Villamin and Victor Bolden Jr., who both combined for 1,121 yards on 89 receptions with eight scores in the previous year.

Also, Seth Collins, last year’s leading passer (935 yards) and rusher (575 yards), should turn out to be a very reliable target once he gets accustomed to his new position as a receiver.

The Gophers, meanwhile, will look to start the season on a strong note with their uprising quarterback in Mitch Leidner. He’ll be trying to better his efforts in 2015, a year wherein he passed for 2,701 yards along with 14 TDs, but had 11 interceptions. Apart from him, running back Shannon Brooks, whom many regard as a rising star in college football after witnessing him compile 709 yards and seven scores on 119 carries during his freshman season, is going to be one of the main focal points of Minnesota’s offense and overall success.

Writer’s Prediction: Gophers (+2.5) win, but they don’t cover.

Friday, September 2

Furman Paladins at Michigan State Spartans – 7:00 PM ET

No disrespect to the boys at Furman, but this game should be pretty easy for the Spartans—the far more superior and talented program. They’ll be led by fifth-year senior quarterback Tyler O’Connor, who gets another shot to win the starting gig under head coach Mark Dantonio.

It’ll take some time before O’Connor and Michigan State’s new group of receivers to start clicking, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem with key returnees in LJ Scott, Madre London, Gerald Holmes and Delton Williams headlining their rushing attack, which ranked among the best in the country a season ago.

Writer’s Prediction: The Spartans resoundingly dispatch the Paladins, 44-16.

Saturday, September 3

Miami (OH) RedHawks (+27.5) at Iowa Hawkeyes (-27.5) – 3:30 PM ET

The Hawkeyes, who came within a victory of clinching a postseason berth last year, are not attractively priced at +3,000 to win the national championship this year for nothing. They have a loaded offense that will be led by senior quarterback C.J Beathard. He should be able to immediately build upon his splendid 2015 performance, considering that his two favorite targets of last season—Matt VandeBerg and Tevaun Smith—are back and ready to roll. Plus, running back LeShun Daniels Jr. gives Iowa a serious threat on the ground.

Defense, however, is most likely where the Hawkeyes can seal the deal against their season-opening opponents—the RedHawks. Miami quarterback Billy Bahl can’t afford to take his time or throw any half-hearted passes especially with the presence Desmond King, Iowa’s leading and do-it-all defensive back. King had an All-American season in 2015, which included him finishing tied for second in the nation with eight picks.

Writer’s Prediction: Iowa (-27.5) kicks off their 2016 campaign on a high note, thrashing the RedHawks by 20 or more points.

Complete Odds and Schedule for Big Ten Week 1

Date Spread Over/Under
September 1 Indiana (-9) vs FIU (+9) 61.0
Oregon State (+13) vs Minnesota (-13) 55.5
September 2 Furman vs Michigan State
September 3 Hawaii (+40.5) vs Michigan (-40.5) 54.5
Bowling Green (+28) vs Ohio State (-28) 64.0
Eastern Kentucky vs Purdue
Western Michigan (+5.5) vs Northwestern (-5.5) 52.0
Howard vs Maryland
Rutgers (+26.5) vs Washington (-26.5) 55.5
Kent State (+21) vs Penn State (-21) 45.5
Murray State vs Illinois
Miami (OH) (+27.5) vs Iowa (-27.5) 52.0
LSU (-10) vs Wisconsin (+10) 44.5
Fresno State (+28.5) vs Nebraska (-28.5) 62.0

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Bief
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